It's nice when the plane tells you the article's title - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

It’s nice when the plane tells you the article’s title – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Roughly five years ago, ANA took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. More than that, it was the first 787 to enter commercial service.

Twenty million passengers, three hundred thousand flying hours, and one hundred twenty five thousand flights later, they are now at fifty. That calls for a party.

ANA's newest 787-9 is also their 50th - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

ANA’s newest 787-9 is also their 50th – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

ANA, took this event as an opportunity to reflect on their involvement with the 787 program.

Clearly, they love it. Though the initial order was for fifty, they now have a further 33 coming after this one. Compared to the 767, this aircraft saves them 98 million U.S. Dollars a year in fuel and 20% in maintenance.  These figures are why ANA has been able to use the 787 to open markets that did not seem previously possible. Soon, they will fly to Phnom Penh Cambodia; but the big news is Mexico City.

One of ANA's 49 other 787s - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

One of ANA’s 49 other 787s – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

By the end of this fiscal year, Japan forecasts that there being at least 1000 Japanese companies with financial links to Mexico. Only one airline offers nonstop service between Narita (or anywhere in North Eastern Asia) and Latin America. Aeromexico uses the GEnX engine and departs in the middle of the night. Why? Well, Mexico city is one of the most challenging airports from an airliner perspective. Hot, high above sea level, and prone to low barometric pressure. For a desired, profitable, payload many planes would find themselves out of runway before getting anywhere near V1. ANA, Rolls Royce, and Boeing have been working on not so much an increase in thrust for the Trent 1000; but a consistent thrust option.

The fiftieth 787 in ANA service is configured for long-haul operations with Thompson Vantage seats in Business Class - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The fiftieth 787 in ANA service is configured for long-haul operations with Thompson Vantage seats in Business Class – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Boeing wanted to make us aware of this, but the details are largely protected. My guess is that this thrust consistency package that ANA is asking for is something akin to what General Electric offered on the GE-90-110 and 115 series. Not a true up-rate, but the ability through both software and physical engineering to increase or maintain thrust output for a longer time without damaging the engine or reducing reliability.

ANA and Boeing say that this technology should be ready by year’s end for a potential February 2017 launch.

So, in reality- this event wasn’t just a celebration of ANA now operating roughly ten percent of the global 787 fleet (10.2% if you really want to do the math). This event was a celebration of the aircraft itself.

With the 787-10 set to enter service in 2018, it is starting to seem as if the program is putting its challenging beginning even further behind it.

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CONTRIBUTOR - SEATTLE, WA. Bernie has traveled around the world to learn about, experience, and photograph different types of planes. He will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport. Email: bernie@airlinereporter.com.

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5 Comments

AeroMexico also flies a milk run from MEX-TIJ-PVG-MEX

They used to, but these days it’s all nonstop.

hmm, I was on it a year ago

Well, that makes sense- it has changed within the last year. Either due to rescheduling, some sort of secret GEnX improvements, or commercial factors we do not know.

50 Dreamliners and counting? A party? You got my attention! HAHA! Great article!

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